A week after picking apart many of the undeclared Republican presidential candidates (including one, Newt Gingrich, who became a declared candidate this week) "Saturday Night Live" turned its attention to President Barack Obama and his perceived showboating over the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
Conservatives have frequently criticized the president over perceived showboating about bin Laden's death. Radio host Rush Limbaugh said Obama used the words "I," "me" and "my" too much in his first public comments after bin Laden's killing. Then, in follow-up programs, Limbaugh attacked Obama's subsequent public appearances, including one near the Mexican border in which he cracked jokes about Republicans wanting a moat with alligators at the border. Some choice Limbaugh quotes:
• "Obama's hijacked John Wayne from us. Obama's hijacked Bush. He's gone from being best friends with flag-stomping domestic terrorist Bill Ayers to now being best friends and the leader of SEAL Team Six. This is simultaneously nauseating and hilarious to watch."
• "After the parade forms and the consensus has developed, Obama gets on the white horse and races to the front of the parade, taking credit for whatever the cause is, and that's where he is now. It's not just leading from behind -- it's leading the ignorant."
• "Obama feels good about himself, and when he feels good about himself, he doesn't act like a cowboy -- he acts like a drunken cowboy."
"Saturday Night Live" took up this joke last night in its opening segment, portraying Obama as openly smoking, drinking, laughing, cursing, dancing and turning into a stand-up comedian as he gloats over bin Laden's killing in front of a large crowd. Rather than addressing issues of the economy and lack of jobs, Obama is shown reverting to catch phrases, such as: "Killed bin Laden!"
It's a bit that could have been played on Limbaugh's show.
I'll give SNL this: The program is sometimes criticized as being too harsh on Republicans, but it was the president who was on the end of the joke last night.
Has Obama celebrated too much over bin Laden's death? Probably not. He's been rather staid when talking about the raid from what I've seen. But perception often becomes reality in America, and that criticism is where perception is headed.
All in all, it was a pretty funny bit, even if it was somewhat unfair. CNN host Wolf Blitzer's unique style of speaking also gets parodied.
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